ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A former Orlando police officer accused of using excessive force on a handcuffed man has been found not guilty of battery and perjury charges.
Prosecutors argued that William Escobar, 26, crossed the line when he kicked and punched Refus Holloway during an arrest in 2014. The incident was recorded on a cell phone and on a body camera. Escobar claimed Holloway was acting aggressively toward officers as they were attempting to subdue him. The state also claimed Escobar had lied to court officials about his actions against Holloway.
Escobar's attorney said the video does not show everything that happened that night and that Escobar used appropriate actions in a dangerous situation. Escobar himself took the stand on Thursday, then testified for more than two hours in his own defense. He told the jury that he believed his actions were justifiable, claiming Holloway was ignoring commands and had charged at his partner. "I'm thinking, I'm probably going to die," he told the court.
Escobar said that, even after being handcuffed, Holloway attempted to stand up and was behaving in a threatening manner. "Frankly, he's acting like a maniac; he's out of control. I was trying to get through to him," he said.